Caribbean Home: Escaping Reality and Finding Paradise in Tortola


Above: the main house of the Frenchman’s Cay Estate (Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty)

At the top of one of the highest points in the west end of the British Virgin Islands’ Tortola is the Frenchman’s Cay Estate, a luxurious retreat from reality.

The home, which is listed by Sotheby’s International Realty’s Maritha Keil, is actually two properties: Frenchman’s Lookout, a five-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot, plantation-style villa, and Frenchman’s Paradise, a three-bedroom guest house.

“It’s an excellent home for anyone who just wants to escape reality for awhile,” Keil tells Caribbean Home. “It’s an ideal location for a good trade wind breeze and it’s a great home for a large extended family or just a small group.”

The pool at Frenchman's Lookout

While Frenchman’s Cay is built to San Francisco earthquake standards and Miami hurricane standards, it places a premium on comfort: there are a total of eight hammocks in the house, each with a unique view.

One of eight hammocks on the property

The property, which boasts mirrors throughout the house to ensure its 360-degree views (of the British and United States Virgin Islands) can always be seen, was built about 18 years ago, and has had two owners. It also has its own long lap pool.

The British Virgin Islands has been home to a number of high-profile residents and visitors in recent years, from its most notable homeowner, Sir Richard Branson (who owns the private Necker Island) to Kenny Chesney and Morgan Freeman, who also frequent the territory.

Frenchman’s Cay takes advantage of one of the BVI’s richest resources: its untouched beaches, which can be accessed by the 35-foot boat that comes with the purchase of the property. “You can be on an island where there’s nobody on the beach, where it’s very secluded and private, and that’s a really unusual thing when you’re in any part of the world,” Keil says.

Frenchman’s Cay sits on the Francis Drake Channel, which separates Tortola from the main islands of the BVI, with easy maritime access from the airport in St Thomas and just a 15-minute ferry ride from St John. “It’s just a really comfortable home,” she says. “And yet it’s set up so you can disappear if you want and not worry about it — it’s built like a fortress, so if you want to go away, you just roll down the shutters and you know you don’t have to worry about it.” — CJ

Frenchman’s Cay Estate
Asking price: $11.5 Million
Listing Agent: Maritha Keil, Sotheby’s International Realty
Location: Tortola, British Virgin Islands

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